Naturally, people tend to worry and feel anxious with daily tasks in life and this worry can provide motivation and doesn’t last long. People with an anxiety disorder, however, experience persistent worry and anxiety that affects most aspects of their life negatively.
Anxiety can become uncomfortable and stressful. All anxiety disorders consist of persistent, excessive worry during situations that are not threatening.
Here are some typical symptoms of anxiety:
- Excessive worry about daily decisions
- Restlessness and irritability
- Feeling on edge or tense
- Dreading the worst case scenario
- Sweating, tremors, and twitching
- Heart racing and difficulty breathing
- Dizziness and nausea
Veterans can suffer from several different types of anxiety. All anxiety disorders consist of persistent, excessive worry during situations that are not threatening.
The different types of anxiety are:
- Social anxiety – This anxiety can cause extreme fear and worry about social interactions. Social anxiety can keep people from participating in social activities like participating in discussions, attending events, and communicating with others.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – People who suffer from GAD tend to always worry and be anxious about daily life. This can start to affect everyday life as it becomes hard to concentrate on and complete tasks.
- Panic disorder – Panic attacks are a recurrent struggle with people who suffer from panic disorder. A panic attack is associated with heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and trembling. These panic attacks can severely limit and affect their life because during a panic attack people may feel like they are out of control and their life is at risk.
- Specific phobias – People with specific phobias have an intense, irrational fear of a specific object or situation. At times these phobias can take over their life because of them trying to avoid the situation or object. The key to coping with these phobias is understanding when they get in the way of everyday life.
Although the causes of anxiety disorders are not known, there are certain risk factors that make a person more prone to developing them. In veterans, the constant stress of war and/or trauma makes them more susceptible to developing an anxiety disorder.
Here are additional risk factors:
- Personality – Personality traits of shyness, oversensitivity to criticism, fixation on details, and moral rigidness can make you more susceptible to anxiety disorders.
- Genetics – A history of anxiety or other mental health disorders in your family can put you more at risk for developing an anxiety disorder.
- Drug use and misuse – Drugs that contain caffeine or amphetamines are known to cause anxiety in some individuals.
- Medical conditions – Certain physical health issues can lead to anxiety like having a chronic illness that causes you to feel stressed in your daily life or having an illness that has challenging symptoms.